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War in the Middle East: USA discusses action in Rafah with Israel

War in the Middle East: USA discusses action in Rafah with Israel

Despite the concerns of allies, Israel’s army apparently wants to expand its advance in Rafah. But the focus of the world public is currently on Iran. The news at a glance.

While the search for President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister continues in Iran after a suspected helicopter accident, Israel’s arch enemy is intensifying its fight against the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On the one hand, US President Joe Biden’s security advisor confirmed during talks in Israel that the US continues to reject a large-scale offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza.

At the same time, however, he discussed methods with the Israelis to ensure the defeat of Hamas while keeping the damage to the civilian population as low as possible, as the White House subsequently announced. Sullivan expressed U.S. support for Israel’s efforts to find Hamas leaders in Gaza. He met, among others, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Izchak Herzog.

According to a media report, Israel’s Defense Minister Joav Galant and his Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi have approved a significant expansion of the military operation in Rafah. They had approved the “next and significant phase” of the operation in the city in the south of the Gaza Strip, reported the pro-government Israeli TV channel Channel 14. Senior military officials wanted to present the details of the plan to Sullivan, it said. An Israeli army spokesman said they were checking the media report.

The USA wants to ensure supplies for the population in Gaza

In Rafah, Israel’s leadership says it wants to destroy the last Hamas battalions believed to be there. Allies such as the United States have repeatedly warned Israel against a large-scale attack on the city on the border with Egypt because of the large number of internally displaced people. However, Israel’s leadership is sticking to its attack plans. According to UN estimates, around 800,000 refugees have already left the city since the military operation began around two weeks ago. The White House said Sullivan had informed Israel about talks with Egypt to secure the border with Rafah and ensure the continued flow of humanitarian aid through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Kerem Shalom has become a major bottleneck for aid to Gaza since the Rafah crossing was closed after Israeli forces took control of the border crossing on the Palestinian side earlier this month. Egypt has indicated, according to media, that it will not coordinate the transport of aid through Rafah until Israeli troops leave. Discussions are underway to reopen the border crossing.

After the meeting with Sullivan, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote on According to the White House, this included steps to establish permanent corridors within Gaza to ensure that aid reaches all civilians in need.

Biden’s security adviser calls for strategy from Israel

According to the White House, Sullivan also once again called on the Israeli government to link its military operations in the Gaza Strip to a political strategy. This is the only way to ensure a lasting defeat of Hamas, the release of all Israeli hostages and a better future for the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Defense Minister Galant had previously called on his own government to create a political alternative to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Otherwise, the only options left were a continuation of Hamas rule or Israeli military rule, Galant said a few days ago.

Sullivan also informed Israel’s head of government about his previous talks in Saudi Arabia and spoke about “the potential” that could now arise for Israel and the Palestinian people, as the White House further announced. Before the start of the Gaza war, there was much to suggest that Saudi Arabia’s relations with Israel would be normalized. Riyadh suspended talks about it after the war began. The US government is continuing to hold talks with Israel and Saudi Arabia about this. Saudi Arabia does not want to establish relations with Israel until there is an independent and recognized Palestinian state. Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, in Iran, hours after the suspected crash of a helicopter with President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian on board, there was no sign of life. Poor rain and wind made the search in the mountainous region difficult. Meanwhile, Iran’s cabinet met for an emergency meeting. If Raisi and Amirabdollahian were killed in the accident, the Islamic Republic could be plunged into a domestic and foreign policy crisis. Iran has been in the headlines more recently, also because there seemed to be a threat of a regional war with its arch-enemy Israel.

Source: Stern

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